Monday, June 11, 2012

Lewis Colam arrives tomorrow, June 12th!

OK, I have a million things to do today but I just can't resist another post about Lewis Colam!

According to his IAmFine Challenge Updates SPOT tracking device, he's at Sandy Hook. I am sort of glad to see that because the Intra Coastal Waterway runs out about 20 miles before you get to New York Harbor, and tomorrow's marine forecast didn't look so hot for an open-ocean row. Technically he could row on in today but his scheduled arrival is for 2 pm tomorrow at the Intrepid and I would expect that he'll hold off until then - maybe do some sightseeing at Sandy Hook. I'm very bummed out that I still can't make it (getting too close to my own departure for Estonia to spare the afternoon) but at least I can post about it - maybe some of my North River based friends can make it out to say hello, it's hard to collect a flotilla on a weekday but even a few would be fun (and maybe good press if there was a nice photogenic crew of small craft bringing him in)!

It's been quite an adventure; I've been following him since the Bowsprite sent out a Huffington Post article about him. That article ended up making him sound like a bit of an airhead, heading out without a clue, but he had gotten some pre-trip mentoring from Bill Larson at Little River Marine. Larson is a former Master Nationals Medalist in rowing and his boatbuilding company specializes in what he calls "adventure rowing craft", think the guy knows what he's doing & probably set Louis up with quite a bit of pre-trip planning help, as well as a couple of days of pre-trip training with the boat. The media, of course, LOVES the "never rowed a boat before" aspect so that all sort of got glossed over, but it seemed to me like he wasn't quite just leaping off into the unknown the way that article made it sound.

The learning curve was still pretty steep. He had some terrible headwinds the first week but toughed those out in admirable fashion, he showed he had some good common sense by making a couple of very good judgement calls early (one involving a tanker, one involving an open-water crossing), he NEVER went out to sea to avoid the alligators (Huffington Post claim, I suspect he was joking but they made it sound like it was actually part of his trip planning - in reality the entire trip was within the relative shelter of the Intracoastal Waterway and I'd bet that had been his plan all along) and all in all it sounds like his first rowing trip ended up being a good one. It never sounded like it quite got easy, but he seemed to have a good time meeting people and seeing the East Coast, and he's raised quite a bit of money for Alzheimer's research in the process.

I added a bit this morning, as I'd been planning to do for a while. I figured it was the least I could do after getting so much enjoyment from his podcasts during March and April, when my department traditionally ends up working very long hours prepping for the next fiscal year. A little 5-minute adventure break was always a great pick-me-up!

Podcasts and the SPOT chart are available at the first link I posted; beyond that, Facebook seems to be the place where arrival updates are being posted with the most regularity. visit Click here to visit that page. Note added later - Oh, right, he's twittering too - I don't twit myself so I always forget that!

Note on Monday, June 11th, 4:45 PM - OK, the "official" landing is still apparently tomorrow at 2 pm on the Intrepid, but about 2 hours ago, Lewis posted on Facebook "Day 100 - passed under the Verrazano today. " In my book, he's done!


bowsprite said...

whoa!!! he did it! blimey!
just have to quote it again because I loved it: "If he stays away from the fast food joints, he should be safe."

we really should have a welcoming party with: spushi! ('spam sushi' to the unititiated) and good local brew. And alligator bites, since no alligator did bite him.

bonnie said...

I wish I'd thought to ask for 2 weeks of vacation - it would be so nice to have a few days off, and among other things I could go meet him when he lands!